bySarah Mallia via web
On Friday the 1st May 2015 Pawa254 invited Tanzanian musician Leo Mkanyia for an evening of acoustic East African authentic music on our rooftop from 6-10pm.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Leo is a singer, guitarist, percussionist, harmonica player, song writer, composer, arranger, guitar tutor.
Leo Mkanyia, who is a founder of Swahili Blues is a blues guitarist and songwriter from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Born into a family of musicians, Leo has been playing music for 20 years. He was first inspired by his father, a well-known jazz guitarist in Tanzania who was playing with of one of the earliest established bands (and still exists) in the country-Mlimani Park. Leo began practicing music when he was eight-years-old by copying chords from his father.
Before deciding which route to take in his music journey, Leo conducted a lot of researches on Tanzanian traditional dances. He researched traditional dances from different tribes including; Makua, Wayao, Makonde, Gogo, Sukuma. One of his research findings was the discovery of the distinct parallels that existed between the Tanzanian traditional sound and the Blues/Jazz music popular in the southern States of the USA.
It is this discovery that inspired Leo to work out traditional sound and theme in modern environment and available instruments. An inspired Leo created his own modern style, which he calls Swahili Blues.
Swahili blues is not popular among Tanzanian musicians mainly because they consider it to be far more intricate and in some respects not fitting to the pop culture. However, it is very rich in Tanzanian cultural heritage and can be true representative of Tanzanian sound-the genre.
Leo sings in Swahili, English and French, but prefers to sing in his mother tongue, Swahili where he can effectively deliver his message to his target audience who mostly speak and understand Swahili. Leo also sings in native languages like Kiyao and Makua.